Tinkering School

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One Day Workshop - Projectile Lab

One Day WorkshopsSean Murray

Anyone can launch a ball through the air. Launching a ball with precision requires hard thinking, creative problem-solving, and plenty of perseverance. Today we challenged ourselves to create precision projectile launchers.

Spencer poses with his catapult-in-progress. By the time he was finished, the catapult could toss a bean bag across the room!

We started the day with safety training on the drills and chop saw ("the addition and subtraction of building", to paraphrase Benjamin.)

Carolyn wields 60 teeth at a few thousand RPM like a pro.

Then we looked at two different ways to launch projectiles--with an arm that rotates about an axis, and with a spring. Some builders went even further and created a rope-and-pulley cannon-style launcher! 

Jonah says Jonah says "Pull!"

We drew designs over a mid-morning snack, then headed into the workshop!

An extremely honest drawing.

Brian, Carolyn and Alex make decorative targets.

The vibe today was great, marked by awesome teamwork and a real willingness to take a step backwards and fix mistakes (before they became headaches).

Spencer and Aleks locate a hole for their axle.

We built a target range with brightly-painted foods dangling from strings and swinging on springs, plus a bullseye with a steel gong!

Many thanks to our young builders--keep on refining your launchers, and remember to aim away from windows!

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